Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Scientific Models and Visual Representations: Some Perspective
Laura Perini, Pomona College, Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: According to the current view, scientific knowledge is embodied by models. Philosophers aiming to characterize scientific knowledge, such as Giere and van Fraassen, have turned to visual representations like pictures and maps in order to illuminate the nature of scientific knowledge.
In doing so, they are assuming that visual representations are relevantly similar to models. But are they similar in ways that are philosophically fruitful to explore, or does this comparison merely reiterate assumptions about the role of resemblance in how scientific models and pictures function as representations? In this presentation I will clarify the differences between models and visual representations and the implications for research in these areas.